WESTFIELD, Mass. -- Sophomore forward Melissa Gray (Peabody, Mass.) drained seven three-pointers and scored a career-high 34 points to lead #2 Westfield State University to a 94-85 win over #3 Bridgewater State University in the semifinal round of the 2019 Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) Women's Basketball Tournament on Thursday night at the Woodward Center.
With the win, the host Owls (17-9) advance to the MASCAC Championship game, which will be played at #1 seed Worcester State University on Saturday afternoon at one. The visiting Bears end the season with an overall record of 14-13.
Senior guard Lucy Barrett (Williamstown, Mass.) added 27 points on 10 of 18 shooting for the Owls, while senior guard Kierra McCarthy (Ludlow, Mass.) netted 15 points and grabbed seven rebounds as Westfield advances to the MASCAC Championship game for the sixth straight season.
For Bridgewater, five players scored in double figures, led by 19 points from senior guard Danielle Arcidiacono (Bellingham, Mass.), and 17 points and a career-high 20 rebounds from Kailyn Aguiar (Acushnet, Mass.). The double-double marked Aguiar's team-leading tenth of the season.
Senior guard Olivia DelGrosso (Ledyard, Conn.) added 16 points for the Bears, while junior forward Kayla Carter (Beverly, Mass.) and sophomore forward Destiny Fitzgerald (Medford, Mass.) tallied 11 points apiece.
The Bears jumped out to a 24-17 first quarter lead, but Westfield trimmed it back to 44-41 at the half.
The Owls held the edge in play over the first five-plus minutes of the third quarter and took a 58-44 lead following a three-pointer by junior guard Chelsea Moussette (Southampton, Mass.) with 4:55 remaining in the period. Bridgewater, however, dominated the rest of the quarter outscoring the Owls 14-3 to take a 68-61 advantage into the final period. Five different Bears scored during the run led by four points from Arcidiacono.
Gray (14 pts), Barrett (12 pts.) and McCarthy (7 pts.) combined to score all of the Owls' 33 points in the decisive fourth quarter. Westfield outscored the Bears 14-7 in the first 2:53 of the fourth, getting the game on level terms at 75-all on a McCarthy three pointer. Leading 85-83 with 1:41 to play, Gray drilled her seventh three-pointer of the night on a wing jumper that gave the Owls an 88-83 advantage. Barrett and McCarthy combined to hit 6 of 6 free throws in the closing seconds to preserve the win.
Westfield shot 15-32 (46.9%) from three-point range in the game and handed out 25 assist on 35 buckets, led by five assists from Moussette. The Owls were a perfect 9-for-9 at the free throw line and forced 24 turnovers.
The Bears shot 48% (36-75) from the floor while trying to pound the ball inside, and finished with a 50-36 rebounding advantage. Bridgewater held the edge in second chance points (25-14) and points in the paint (52-36).